NCP's Vandana Chavan likely to be opposition's RS Deputy Chair nominee

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New Delhi : The opposition is likely to field NCP member Vandana Chavan as its candidate for the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman's post in the August 9 poll. A final decision is expected to be taken later Tuesday.

"Her name is being actively considered," a leader said after a meeting of opposition parties in the chamber of Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad.

The parties decided to have another meeting in the evening to finalise the name.

Sources said the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar is expected to speak to the Shiv Sena and Biju Janata Dal to seek their support for the opposition nominee.

Congress leaders are also expected to reach out to Naveen Patnaik's party.

Shiv Sena has, of late, been taking divergent stance from its ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on several issues.

Apart from Azad and Pawar, the meeting was attended by Congress leader Anand Sharma, Samajwadi Party's (SP) Ram Gopal Yadav, Trinamool's (TMC) Derek O'Brien, Bahujan Samaj Party's (BSP) Satish Chandra Misra, Rashtriya Janata Dal's (RJD) Misa Bharti, DMK's Tiruchi Siva and Communist Party of India's (CPI) D. Raja.

The other name doing the rounds as possible opposition is of Tiruchi Siva.

The election is likely to be a tight affair as the opposition bloc has an edge over the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance in terms of numbers.

The outcome will depend on the stance of parties such as BJD, AIADMK, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and YSR Congress Party -- which could ally with the government in certain situations.

The parties which would support an opposition nominee include the Congress (50), TMC (14), SP (13), TDP (6), CPI-M (5), CPI (2), DMK (4), NCP (4), AAP (3), BSP (4), RJD (5), PDP (2), JD-S (1), Nominated (1), Kerala Congress-Mani (1) and IUML (1).

Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu had on Monday announced that the new Deputy Chairman to the upper House will be elected on August 9.

The post of the Deputy Chairman fell vacant after P.J. Kurien retired in July.

The election will be held a day before the conclusion of the monsoon session of Parliament.